This was a fun sequel to Cinder that I found just as compelling as the first book. It was particularly clever in the combing of the CinderelRating 3.5
This was a fun sequel to Cinder that I found just as compelling as the first book. It was particularly clever in the combing of the Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood stories, and it worked surprisingly well.
The good things were the progression of the story, getting more answers that were left out of the first book, and the addition of some great characters (Carswell Thorne, I'm talking about you).
Some things I didn't love -- still not a lot of world building or explanations of this futuristic world. The plot moves us to France and introduces an American character. Yet somehow, they all speak the same language (although there are a few French words and phrases thrown in here and there). So . . . is there now a common language for the whole world? In fact, I wondered that during the first book when the Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth (future China) has several meetings with all the leaders of the world's nations, and there is no explanation of language translation or communication. And the queen of the Lunar nation on the moon -- what's her deal? Do they also speak the same language even though they aren't a nation, or even colony, of the Earth?
Also, while I loved a few of the new characters, I didn't particularly love Scarlet (Little Red), the protagonist of this installment. She made some pretty stupid choices for no apparent reasons, and then failed to even learn from those stupid mistakes. (view spoiler)[Let's see, they tricked you into thinking you were seeing your grandmother, but it was just an illusion. So then when you see your grandmother again, you don't even question that it might be a trick again? (hide spoiler)] And frankly, she just wasn't particularly likable. I have no patience for characters who are angry, angsty, whiny girls losing their tempers all the time but without actual reason or motivation, and who actually fail to show any positive characteristics -- but then somehow the hunky male character just can't help but fall for her. Maybe if her character had been given more depth than just love for her grandma and disgust for her father?
To be honest, while I really enjoyed reading the book -- it was fast-paced and entertaining -- it felt like a place holder to finally get things going, to advance the plot to where things actually start happening. Finally Cinder makes the decision she's needed to make so everyone can start doing something and revelations can be made.
But yes, I'm definitely invested in the series and looking forward to seeing how Meyer will finish the story she started with Cinder in the next two books. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is one of those books, for whatever reason, I kept putting off reading. I'd heard mixed reviews about it, so I just couldn't decide ifRating: 3.5
This is one of those books, for whatever reason, I kept putting off reading. I'd heard mixed reviews about it, so I just couldn't decide if I wanted to spend time on a series that wasn't all that great. Finally, at the prompting of some friends, I decided it was worth a try. And I'll tell you something -- it was totally worth it! I have to give credit to Marissa Meyer for some serious creativity here. I thought the idea of a cyborg Cinderella was just too weird and sci-fi-ish for my taste, but not so, my friends! This was a really interesting and compelling take on the old classic, but with enough twists and new concepts to make it fresh and entertaining.
The only drawbacks were the lack of real world building and character development with true depth. If Meyer could have just give us more of what she started, it would have been fantastic. She's clearly a talented and creative writer, but I was left wishing I knew more about this world and how it came to be. Honestly, it took me a while to realize that the Eastern Commonwealth was a futuristic China. Even with the city named New Beijing, I kept wondering if it was in America (because China took over the world?) or in Asia, or what? There really wasn't any sense of the setting here. Same with many of the characters.
Another bummer was how predictable it was. I mean, okay, yeah, of course it's easy to see where the whole Cinderella storyline is going to lead, but even the "mysteries" and unknowns of the plot were easily figured out. From the moment they were introduced, even.
Having said that, though, I will say that I was thoroughly entertained and quickly acquired the second book to see where the author was going to take it, and how the Cinderella story would meld with the other fairy tales it seems Meyer has taken on in the rest of the series....more
This is one of those books that you start reading and immediately think, "Oh no . . . this book is going to end eventually, isn't it? And I really donThis is one of those books that you start reading and immediately think, "Oh no . . . this book is going to end eventually, isn't it? And I really don't want it to end. I can tell. Okay, no big deal. Let's just . . . slow down. No need to gobble it all up at once. Just savor it a little. Maybe you could interest yourself in this magazine for a bit? Or this other book that . . . No? Okay, fine, let's just read it all today then."
I really connected with Demetrios's writing style, but it was much more than that. Her characters -- an 18-year-old girl who grew up in a trailer park with alcoholic parents (one who died in a drunk-driving accident) but is determined to get out of her small town and go to college, and a 19-year-old boy (we can't really call him a man yet, can we?) who is already a war veteran with one leg blown off by a bomb in Afghanistan -- are so real and funny and awful and wonderful. They make bad choices and good ones. They build real relationships and real friendships. They have to learn how to deal and cope with terrible things. And they're just trying to figure out life, like we all are.
I think what I liked most about the main character, Skylar, was that she was actually likable! She wasn't one of those whiny, always angry, condescending girls that I've become so tired of in books lately where I'm left wondering -- and this guy likes her WHY? Sklyar, on the other hand, is funny and kind, and sure, she can be a bit rough and even get angry -- but only when (strangely enough) she actually has reason to be.
And while I have labeled this book as "young adult," it definitely has some very adult themes and situations. But since the main characters are very much in that transitional stage between young-adulthood and adulthood, and as they were forced to face incredibly adult problems from young ages, it all worked to create a great story.
P.S. Dear Goodreads, Just a small request -- Is there any way, do you think, that drafts of reviews could be saved automatically as we write them? You know, so that when you suddenly, for some reason, find your screen has disappeared and the review you spent the last ten minutes writing disappeared with it, you don't have to curse the internet gods (and Goodreads with it) for hating you so very much, leaving you devoid of any motivation or memory of what you just wrote? Just a thought.
Don't be suckered in by the lovely cover like I was, my friends. The writing is juvenile and the characters maddening. Very little, other than the covDon't be suckered in by the lovely cover like I was, my friends. The writing is juvenile and the characters maddening. Very little, other than the cover, was worth the read. I'm also very unimpressed by the behavior and harassment of the author and her agent toward other GoodReads reviewers. (See Wendy Darling's review.) I have no interest in supporting this author.
Oh, and if you're just looking for pure entertainment, read Victoria's review of this book. I promise you that (unlike The Selection), it will be worth the read!...more
Oh Jim, you never fail to make me laugh. I don't if this has anything to do with my own food obsessions, but I think I liked this second book by GaffiOh Jim, you never fail to make me laugh. I don't if this has anything to do with my own food obsessions, but I think I liked this second book by Gaffigan even more than the first (although, I think most claim his first book to be the better read). And I can assure you that my husband really enjoyed my reading of this book as well, since I continually read out loud to him excerpts I found particularly humorous. He'd laugh politely, and then attempt to get back to whatever he was currently doing -- sleeping, showering, reading his own book, etc. I can tell it was just as satisfying for him as it was for me....more
Fairly fast-paced and interesting story. The writing itself wasn't phenomenal, and there were many times while I was reading that I had to overlook plFairly fast-paced and interesting story. The writing itself wasn't phenomenal, and there were many times while I was reading that I had to overlook plot holes or contradictions, or just things that didn't quite make sense, but I liked it enough to want to finish the series. ...more
I was looking forward to reading this book because I really enjoyed Ally Carter's Heist Society and Gallagher Girls books. But I have to say, it was aI was looking forward to reading this book because I really enjoyed Ally Carter's Heist Society and Gallagher Girls books. But I have to say, it was a little disappointing. The main character was kind of annoying. I really liked the setting -- Embassy Row in the fictional country of Adria. And even the other characters were interesting and mostly entertaining. But Grace herself was such a drag, and I couldn't figure out why the other characters not only liked her, but were utterly devoted to her and her nonsense, some of them after knowing her for only days.
I probably would have only rated the book 2 stars, but the ending really did redeem it quite a bit. And I'm telling you, I was ready to be pretty frustrated. It cleared some things up about the mystery (AND made it much more interesting since it felt like there really wasn't a mystery for most of the book), although it was rather sloppily done.
So while I wasn't feeling the magic like in Carter's other books, after reading the book's ending, I liked it well enough to want to read more from the series. I have a feeling things will get much better from here. ...more
Great writing, amazing world-building, and interesting characters. Like the first book, however, I did feel that it could have been cut back quite a bGreat writing, amazing world-building, and interesting characters. Like the first book, however, I did feel that it could have been cut back quite a bit without losing much. Sanderson's definitely talented, though, so I look forward to finishing the series. ...more
This was a really lovely debut novel by Carol Rifka Brunt. The setting is 1986 New York City when the AIDs epidemic was really getting bad, and the maThis was a really lovely debut novel by Carol Rifka Brunt. The setting is 1986 New York City when the AIDs epidemic was really getting bad, and the main character, 14-year-old June, must deal with the fact that her beloved uncle is very sick with the virus. The writing itself was so well-done, and the understanding that the characters come to about themselves, the world, and each other were all developed remarkably. I especially loved the relationships between the characters and how they came to understand how much they needed each other -- that life really wasn't meaningful or fulfilling without those relationships.
The setting also worked very well. I like when an author can place a story in a time period (particularly one that's not so far away) without cramming it down your throat that is really IS the 80s! When an author just wants to prove it -- Hey, look at all the things I remember from the 80s! In Brunt's case, it all worked organically in the story, and there was no awkward placement of 80s-specific items, music, etc. It reminded me a bit of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in its skillful use of the 1980s as a setting.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Everything was just so well-written and beautifully told. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry several times . . . but that may be more a reflection on me than the book. I love a book that makes me cry!
Oh, Ms. Snyder, you draw me in again, you sly minx! So happy to see a return of the characters from Poison Study. Wait! I just realized that this bookOh, Ms. Snyder, you draw me in again, you sly minx! So happy to see a return of the characters from Poison Study. Wait! I just realized that this book only came out in February! Crap, now I'm wishing I had waited to read this until at least the second one was out....more
Gah! I don't know what to do with myself right now because I just realized that I've read all of Rainbow Rowell's books! Interestingly, this debut novGah! I don't know what to do with myself right now because I just realized that I've read all of Rainbow Rowell's books! Interestingly, this debut novel of Ms. Rowell's was probably my favorite. Often, first novels tend to be my least favorite, but not so with Attachments. Rowell always has a very interesting plotline and distinctive alternating chapter format, but really, I think it's just that her writing style connects with me. It's funny and charming and clever, but also sweet and heartwrenching at times. I can't believe how much I feel for these characters she's creates. And the dialogue . . . good grief, the dialogue! This woman has a way with words! And nothing trite or over-done here. It's all so beautifully unique.
Like this little exchange, for example:
"I didn't plan it," she said. "I hoped that we would both just know when it was time . . . That we'd have one of those moments. Like in the movies, foreign movies, when something small happens, something almost imperceptible, and it changes everything. Like there's a man and a woman having breakfast . . . and the man reaches for the jam, and the woman says, 'I thought you didn't like jam,' and the man says, 'I didn't. Once.'
"Or maybe it isn't even that obvious. Maybe he reaches for the jam, and she just looks at him like she doesn't know him anymore. Like, in the moment he reached for that jar, she couldn't recognize him.
"After breakfast, he'll go for a walk, and she'll go to their room and pack a slim brown suitcase. She'll stop on the sidewalk and wonder whether she should say good-bye, whether she should leave a note. But she won't. She'll just get into the taxi and go. . . .
"Who's playing me in your movie?" he asked gently.
"Daniel Day-Lewis," she said. She smiled. Lincoln could probably kiss her now if he wanted. Instead he leaned toward her ear so that she could hear him whisper.
"There's never been a moment," he barely said, "when I didn't recognize you."
I mean, honestly. This particular moment in the novel is almost unbearably lovely. So here's hoping to many, many more books from Rowell in the future. And in the not-so-distant future, at that....more
Well, this book was just lovely. Truly. I continue to be a big fan of Ms. Rowell's writing and currently have Fangirl sitting on top of the stack of bWell, this book was just lovely. Truly. I continue to be a big fan of Ms. Rowell's writing and currently have Fangirl sitting on top of the stack of books on my nightstand, just waiting to be read.
As I'm tired and just don't have a lot of time to review this, let me just give you a quick (and most likely unintelligible) run-down on how this book went for me:
Love the beginning. Love the quirky characters. Heart is breaking a bit for Eleanor and her situation (creepy, deadbeat/abusive step-dad and doormat mom--thus Eleanor and the rest of the kids are basically starving all the time because there is no money for food, or anything else, for that matter). Love the character development and the relationship development between Eleanor and Park. Love the middle. Hold on. What's happening here at the end? I do not like where this is heading, but I will trust Ms. Rowell to get us where we need to be. Um, Eleanor, what the freak is wrong with you? Get your act together! Hating, hating the end. Seriously, this ending sucks. Oh, wait. Last paragraph redeems the ending. Beautiful.
I didn't know what to expect with this book, not having read very many graphic novels in my day, but I've been interested in reading it since I heardI didn't know what to expect with this book, not having read very many graphic novels in my day, but I've been interested in reading it since I heard the author speak at a conference recently. It was definitely a very different format--and not because of the graphic novel design. It was basically three different stories told alternately, that all came together in the end. I loved the way each story (and each character) helped explain and develop the others. When it was all revealed at the end, though, I did wish there was a little bit more explanation about the Chin-kee character and his role in Jin's life. Otherwise, it was a great book, and I would definitely recommend it to any of my students....more
Mindy Kaling, as always, is just so much fun to read. Her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, is probably one of my favorite memoirs forMindy Kaling, as always, is just so much fun to read. Her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, is probably one of my favorite memoirs for the sheer fact that it made me laugh so much. Kaling's second book, while just as endearing, disappointed only in that it was shorter (although, I have not actually fact-checked that statement . . .). But she's just such a talented comedic writer, that I couldn't stop myself from reading the book practically without stopping. I loved that I could hear her voice in my head as I read -- just another perk to watching her hilarious show The Mindy Project. And I felt inspired by her final essay which spoke in particular to girls and women about working hard for what you really want. ...more
Oh my goodness, I loved this book! Ever since I first discovered Allie Brosh's blog post about the "A Lot" monster (as an English teacher, this spokeOh my goodness, I loved this book! Ever since I first discovered Allie Brosh's blog post about the "A Lot" monster (as an English teacher, this spoke to me on a personal level), I've been a big fan of hers. And let me tell you people, this book did not disappoint. I was laughing and snickering through the whole thing, just wanting desperately to share bits and pieces of it with different friends as I read, but frustratingly, being unable to since, you know, it was a book, not a Tumblr post. ...more
I kind of loved this book. It was one of those books that you really have no idea what it's about when you start it, but you picked it up because youI kind of loved this book. It was one of those books that you really have no idea what it's about when you start it, but you picked it up because you thought someone had mentioned that it was good, and hey, you were looking for something new to read anyway. And then you start reading it and find that you cannot put it down. And you get a little annoyed when someone or something interrupts you and you have to put it down. And when you get to the end, it was just so good and so satisfying that you just kind of sit there for a few minutes digesting it and feeling it and, well, just wishing you were still reading it. That's what this book was for me.
This is the first book I've read by Rainbow Rowell, and let me tell you, this woman is talented! This book was creative, incredibly well-written, and surprising all at once. The character development was probably my favorite part--they were so interesting and different and real. I became so invested in everything that happened to them. I wanted to know them myself, in person.
I can't wait to read more of Rowell's books. Okay, I'll admit it--I'm actually reading Eleanor & Park right now. And yes, I'm loving it. ...more
I don't know . . . I think I'm ready to give up on this author. I thought the first book I read by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall, was incredible. Well-I don't know . . . I think I'm ready to give up on this author. I thought the first book I read by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall, was incredible. Well-written, carefully constructed, original take an interesting plot idea. But these last two books I've read have just fallen completely short of any of the expectations I've had.
I will refer you to the review of Emily May as I strongly agree with her assessment of this book and why it failed where Before I Fall succeeded. ...more
Finding yourself completely addicted to a series of books and feeling smug that all five books are already out so you don't have a long and/or agoniziFinding yourself completely addicted to a series of books and feeling smug that all five books are already out so you don't have a long and/or agonizing wait for the next book in the series does little good when your library for some unknown (but certainly ridiculous) reason does not carry book #4 of a 5-book series!! I mean, sure, it has book 5. Is there really a need for book 4 as well, perhaps the librarians asked themselves.
It's Christmas break, a time when I actually have some spare time to read before school starts again, and so I whipped through this book in the Fever series in a day, anticipating that I could immediately start reading book 4. And believe me, when you finish this book, you really need the next book right away. This one has the cruelest ending, leaving you uncomfortably hanging, wondering what in the world is going on.
And while I did really enjoy learning so much more of the mythology of the Fae (both good and evil), there are still so many problems and mysteries left unsolved. And not as much seems to happen in this installment until right at the end. So I'm eagerly looking forward to downloading the next book from my online library . . . only third in line. Sigh. ...more
Yep, still really enjoying this series. The more back-story and world-building I get, the more intrigued and invested in this story I find myself. AndYep, still really enjoying this series. The more back-story and world-building I get, the more intrigued and invested in this story I find myself. And I love the setting of contemporary Dublin. I actually think I like the characters and story more in this second book than I did the first. The development of both has been very good....more